Hi guys! I have such a great milliner next on deck as the Hats Heard Round the World Project heads to Canada to meet with artist Trish Hirschkorn. We are going to take a look at her magnificent heart-shaped hat, above, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
I am so obsessed with this hat, modeled by Alina Lee and shot by Shannon Brooke with makeup by Jasmine Cardenas and hair by Tiffany Raelene. You must have an exquisite face for such a dazzling gem of a hat because the face becomes the focal point, surrounded by a constellation of inky sequins. It’s just so cool, and today we are going to get an up-close look of how the hat was created, the dish straight from Trish. You won’t believe what it’s made from! But first, a little background on Trish Hirschkorn.
Trish lives on the East coast of Canada in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and she has a unique perspective of blending the line between feltmaker and milliner. Nuno felting, that is, the fusion of merino wool with silk, is her specialty. Learning her trade with a few weekend courses, Trish developed her own voice in feltmaking and has specialized in millinery. With each piece her hats evolve and pay homage to the designs of the past while using modern techniques with up-cycled materials. She sources her silks from second hand and thrift shops, so that each piece is unique, each of them, one-of-a-kind.
And although she works full-time as an occupational therapist, millinery is her evenings and weekends passion. Her hats have exhibited in Canada, America, London and Australia and won numerous awards in millinery competitions.
The hat in this article is titled “Wicked Love” and is inspired by heartbreak–“the moment in your recovery when you evolve from hurt to empowerment,” Trish stated.
“I am drawn to sculptured form in hats which is why, when I saw a 2-dimensional heart hat by Stephen Jones, I was immediately inspired,” she said. Starting with a heavily-beaded merino wool silk dress, she began designing this 3-dimensional hat. “Although I am typically drawn to color, I wanted to work in all-black, to challenge myself to show dimension, not only in structure but within the color black. The texture of the thousands of sequins speaks volumes to filling up the space that color normally occupies,” she added.
Trish began by sculpting the hat shape out of molding clay. Once dry, she built the skeleton of the hat using a heat gun and thermoplastic. The thermoplastic was lined with black silk. She then wired the base of the thermoplastic, to provide a structured base of the hat. Using the Beth Beede method of felting on a ball, Trish fused the merino wool to the upcycled silk sequined dress. Once felted, she then fulled (rolled, tossed and shaped) the felt to a shape similar to that of the hat. Rinsed and dried, she then blocked the wool over the thermoplastic. The same process was used for the chin piece, with the thermoplastic, wiring and felting. To finish the hat, she added combs to keep the heart in place.
Trish, pictured above molding a camel-colored cloche, loves to integrate new techniques with her work as a feltmaker. Her goal is to empower women during the long winter months with grace amidst the worst of winter weather. Not only are her felt hats beautiful and stylish, but also functional and warm.
Check out her wares online at trishraine.com. Follow her on Instagram @trishrainefelting and Facebook at Trish Raine Felting with regular updates and new hats.
And Happy Valentine’s Day!